Bel Air tops Wright, 2-1, gains revenge, spot in 3A semifinals

November 09, 1995|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Bel Air repulsed its nemesis last night and, in the process, swept into the state Class 3A semifinals.

A header by junior Brian Malcolm with seven minutes left capped 10th-ranked Bel Air's domination of the second half and eliminated cross-town rival C. Milton Wright, 2-1, before an estimated 500 fans at Bel Air.

It was a sweet victory for the Bobcats, who lost the Harford County title to C. M. Wright by a 1-0 score three weeks ago on a freak goal after a poor Bel Air throw-in.

And, the Mustangs had eliminated them from this tournament in last year's semifinals, so the revenge was doubly satisfying.

The decisive goal was set up by an infraction against the Mustangs.

Todd Tabor took an indirect free kick from the right side and aimed for the left side of the goal mouth, where Malcolm was waiting to head it home.

"We decided we would have Todd hit a little chip and have people run on the ball," said Bel Air coach Bill Jefferson.

Eighth-ranked C. M. Wright (8-4-1) became the third straight opponent to put Bel Air behind early when Matt McFarlane beat Ian Minnibach, the Bel Air goalkeeper, from 40 yards away before the game was a minute old.

Bel Air (10-4-1) tied it at 1 with 26:52 elapsed when Nick Stratigeas scored from in front at close range on an assist from Ryan Zimmerman.

Nine minutes later, Stratigeas and Mustangs senior Rob Francis were ejected for fighting, depriving C. M. Wright of one of its best players in the second half.

After the altercation, the Bobcats applied nearly all the offensive pressure for the rest of the game as the Mustangs were forced to compensate for the absence of Francis, who also takes the team's free kicks.

"After they scored so quickly, we didn't get down," said Jefferson. "A few minutes after that we got the momentum up and kept it. I guess we like to play from behind."

The Bel Air defense sparkled after the intermission, holding the Mustangs to three shots and no corner kicks.

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